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Bainbridges Cafe JLP01_10_28910
ELDON SQUARE SHOPPING CENTRE, ELDON SQUARE, NEWCASTLE, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE. A view of the circular structure on stilts that housed the Bainbridge store's cafe at the Eldon Square shopping centre in Newcastle.
Laing won the £5.2m contract to extend the shopping centre in March 1986 for completion in October 1987, a second contract in January 1987 to build the retail unit that bridges Blackett Street and connects the old with the new development and a third in May 1987 for improvements and upgrading across the whole Eldon Square site.
The area pictured is part of the original structure that has undergone renovation. The area was previously carpeted with a sunken hexagonal seating area and the ceiling was covered with vertical tubes, some acting as light wells to let in daylight and some lit by bulbs but providing a much gloomier interior than following the rejuvenations. The decor had a space age feel more in keeping with the pod on stilts that housed Bainbridge's cafe, this structure remained but was given a new colour scheme. Bainbridge's was a major department store in Newcastle from its origins in 1838. It became part of the John Lewis Partnership in 1952 but operated under the Bainbridge brand until 2002 when the original 1976 Eldon Square site was given another facelift and the shop rebranded as John Lewis
© Historic England Archive